6 “As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ (Acts 22:6–8)
Falsely accused and brutally attacked by a Jewish mob, resulting in his arrest by the Roman tribune in Jerusalem, the Apostle Paul stood before both people groups, Jews and Romans, and made his “defense.” As previously noted, what Paul did at this time he would also do on several other occasions (Acts 24:10; 25:8; 26:1-2; 24). He would defend himself as he defended the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which God requires of each believer (I Peter 3:15).
Having identified who he was (Acts 22:1-5), Paul shared what he became: a follower of Jesus Christ. He shared his experience of traveling on the Damascus Road and encountering a great light from heaven, which was brighter than the noon day sun.
He spoke of having fallen to the ground and hearing a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Paul told the gathered crowd his question to the source of the voice: “Who are you Lord?” He then related who it was who replied to him: “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.”
Dr. Simon Kistemaker writes, “The Jews knew from the Scriptures that light proceeds from God…and that it is a feature God employs to reveal Himself. From their knowledge of Scripture, the Jews knew that when God calls people, He often repeats their name.”
What the Jews, and the Romans also for that matter, did not know was the identity of the divine person who stopped Paul that day. It was none other than Jesus Christ.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “The lessons for Paul hearers could hardly be clearer—Jesus of Nazareth is divine and He is not at all pleased by the persecution of Christians.”
In the Scriptures, we read of many people whose lives were radically changed by an encounter with the living God: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David. How has your life changed upon believing in the person and work of Jesus Christ? Take time today to think about that question and also how your life can be changed to be even more Christ like.
Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!